Feelings Are Fun: Your Emotional Overdrive May Be Your Super Power

Like any true adult, I cry constantly. It’s very casual and part of my regular schedule; don’t be weird about it.

Like most women, I’m naturally intuitive. It’s a skill we picked up on to like, I don’t know, survive?

But like few special souls (I absolutely DOUSED that in sarcasm), I’m referred to as an “empath.” I hate that word by the way. It sounds like the name of a company that makes really expensive heart rate monitors.

An empath is defined as a person with the paranormal ability (it comes from science fiction) to apprehend the mental and emotional state of another individual. I define it as “Constantly carrying everyone else’s emotional weight with you on top of your own in attempts to murder yourself slowly.” Empaths navigate the world through super-heightened intuition and an unasked-for capability to be constantly in tune with everyone else’s emotional well-being. You’re in check with body language, facial expression, what people say and even don’t say. Round the clock. Blessed.

This is not a brag. Perpetual capital-E Empathy is exhausting. It’s more exhausting than running a marathon and I think I’d know because I’ve ran absolutely none.

Being an empath has all but destroyed most of my days. I’m consistently parsing and piling on other people’s moods and emotions like Princess and The Pea style, wherein I’m the pea, naturally. (Please just nod your head and keep reading, I can’t always be on top of my analogy game.) Shockingly, it gets a little tiring to constantly be processing my own emotions and deciphering yours at the same time.

It can feel out of control at times. Situations can often feel too much, too loud. But when it’s in control (which takes every day practice and relentless focus), we have power. Magic, even.

WHY IT’S YOUR SUPERPOWER:

  • You are BUILT with a bullshit meter. You know when anyone is lying. I absolutely cannot prove that, but only we know it’s true and it comes from your natural ability to read people.
  • Feeling others’ emotions as your own allows for creating deeper relationships. Being able to get on someone’s wavelength immediately allows you to bond with humans almost instantaneously. You know when someone’s “off” often before they even do and sometimes there’s nothing better than a fellow human noticing you and saying “Hey, you good?”
  • You’re like….kinda psychic. Not Teresa-from-Long-Island-Medium psychic, but pretty close. You have a hunch when something doesn’t feel quite right and ~not to brag~ but you’re rarely wrong because you’re WORKIN that mental state x-ray vision.
  • You can see situations from a million different angles. You’re able to chameleon to different mindsets in seconds. You know the expression “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes?” You can wear their whole damn outfit. It actually makes you a pretty good mediator.

I know. Seeing yourself as the Wonder Woman (OR MAN, SHOUTOUT EMPATH MEN) of Feels instead of as just you routinely dealing with the weight of all the empath symptoms probably feels like you’re being attacked by a lion and someone referring to it as a cute little kitten who just wants to play. But there is hope for us, Overly Intuitive One.

A couple ways I deal:

  • You have to practice mindfulness. Be where you are. Don’t invite yourself into situations that don’t involve you. I know It’s impossible not to magnetize to a situation where you can tell emotions are off. I pick up on it like a damn bat signal and BAM I’m involved. I will be like, “Can you please lower your voice I am trying to find out what these complete strangers next to us are arguing about and why one of them is crying into their oatmeal so I can let it destroy me and get too upset to eat my Eggs Benedict, thanks. “ I have literally never heard of minding my own business.
  • Allow yourself breaks throughout the day to decompress in mini spurts. I try to take 10 minutes every two hours or so to go somewhere without any other humans.

Remember: You’re a superhero. But you’re also more than that. You’re fucking YOU.

Image from KateHash.com

Liz Welle  is a professional feelings feeler but gets paid to do social and digital stuff for brands in Minneapolis while occasionally food styling on the side. She lives in Uptown with her boyfriend and their thirteen plants. She is doing her best.

 

 

 

 

  • My god. This is me. Thank you for giving words to how I feel ALL OF THE TIME. “Constantly carrying everyone else’s emotional weight with you on top of your own in attempts to murder yourself slowly.” This is daily life for me. Ugh.

  • I am so glad I read this. I am an empath and being around too many people at one time is overwhelming. There is too much to pick up on and I need downtime to recover.Thank you for the tips as I am trying to get as much information as I can. It can be difficult but There have been so many times where I was able to help someone. This is a gift even though it does not always feel like it. Thank you so very much for sharing …..

  • I don’t want to assume your personal history, but I also was like this and still am to some extent — a lot of it has been reduced through a lot of therapy. as a survivor of childhood trauma, I was/am wired to be extremely perceptive of the moods of others (because survival) and it wasn’t serving me in my every day. I will say I retain the BS meter but have found my day to day a lot less exhausting after processing those early events with a trusted professional. Just wanted to share in case this could ring true for others.

  • Yes I love this! Thank you for identifying this as a real thing because I definitely struggle with this, although now I will consider it my superpower 🙂

  • YES – a fellow Empath! It is so hard to recognize this as a strength, but then I run into someone who has less thoughtful responses and I am reminded of our “special” power. Thank you for writing about this. It’s nice to know some other peeps wear the superhero cape of emotions. <3

  • Such a good read. Thank you for sharing your experiences with this gift/”gift”. One of the down sides I feel as an empath is that being an “Empath” doesn’t always make me particularly empathic – instead I often feel obligated(? Is that the word?) to the other’s emotion. Mindfulness, as you mention, as been key for me. Giving my own feelings enough footing to exist helps me maintain some depth from which to respond to the other once all their feels have been absorbed.

  • “Can you please lower your voice I am trying to find out what these complete strangers next to us are arguing about and why one of them is crying into their oatmeal so I can let it destroy me and get too upset to eat my Eggs Benedict, thanks.“ — Hahahahaha, I literally have tears streaming out of my eyes and laughter doing whatever it does to my face. Ahh, I relate so much. Thank you for this deeply-felt piece!

  • My god. This is me. Thank you for giving words to how I feel ALL OF THE TIME. “Constantly carrying everyone else’s emotional weight with you on top of your own in attempts to murder yourself slowly.” This is daily life for me. Ugh.

  • Thank you! So relatable! Although I’ve not had any trauma like Anon, I do agree that therapy has been very helpful in strengthening and developing new “tools” to help both shield myself from other’s energy and also manage maintaining my own so I don’t feel depleted or burdened by their weight. But so appreciate your humor on the subject. xo